Facebook have apparently made it easier to opt out of using its controversial ‘tag suggestions’ feature. When it was first unveiled, the technology – or the manner in which it was set to ‘On’ by default – came in for some criticism. Users would suddenly find themselves being detected in their friends’ pictures if the algorithms thought that it recognised their faces, with a recommendation to the owner of the photos to tag you in them. A bit too ‘big brother’ for quite a lot of people.
But now Facebook have responded to complaints by some of its 750 million users, including US Attourney General George Jepsen who wrote a letter to Facebook complaining that storing data about users’ faces was a threat to basic human rights. They social networking giant has announced that it is now going to be rolling out a series of adverts on the site which allow users to easily opt out of using the facial recognition technology altogether. Facebook also promises to delete any facial recognition data stored on its system once users opt-out.
While they may have now tried to make amends by offering an easy fix to the people who aren’t too pleased with the way Facebook roll out new features that have an impact on privacy settings, there is still a level of resentment amongst users. Comments on this story found on other sites include:
” “Now, the social network is seeking to remedy this by running ads showing users how to turn the feature off — though it is still turned on by default” – Someone *cough* Facebook *cough* is shi***ng bricks over Google+ ”
” rather than teaching us how to turn off defaults maybe then can change the default themselves and turn it off, thus changing the story to “Facebook Runs Ads Teaching Users How To Turn ON Facial Recognition” “
So it seems the lesson here is that people will generally like to consciously leap rather than be pushed, especially when it comes to their own data and privacy.